The Listicle to End All Listicles

Okay, the title is a bit dire. Actually, I’m just planning to link a few of my favorite Mom Meet Mom blog posts, and I’m so very tired that the word “listicle” just amuses me to no end. Seriously, I can’t be the only one who immediately imagines a blog post for…well…anyway…

Yep!

Happy New Year, everyone!

Should Kids Make New Year’s Resolutions?

I know not every mom is in the habit of making New Year’s resolutions, but apparently about 50% of American adults pledge to change at the start of each fresh year. And what kids see their mamas do, they often want to do themselves. That said, setting goals for the new year is usually seen as an adult pursuit. If your child comes to you and says she wants to make a New Year’s resolution, you may wonder how you should respond. Or whether it’s a healthy way to approach goal-setting for kids.

According to the American Association of Pediatrics, kids can make New Year’s resolutions and they have even put together a list of 20 healthy, age appropriate, and achievable goals kids can set for themselves on 1/1.

Preschoolers

  • I will clean up my toys and put them where they belong.
  • I will brush my teeth twice a day, and wash my hands after going to the bathroom and before eating.
  • I won’t tease dogs or other pets – even friendly ones. I will avoid being bitten by keeping my fingers and face away from their mouths.

Kids, 5- to 12-years-old

  • I will drink reduced-fat milk and water every day, and drink soda and fruit drinks only on special occasions.
  • I will apply sunscreen before I go outdoors on bright sunny days. I will try to stay in the shade whenever possible and wear a hat and sunglasses, especially when I’m playing sports.
  • I will try to find a sport (like basketball or soccer) or an activity (like playing tag, jumping rope, dancing or riding my bike) that I like and do it at least three times a week!
  • I will always wear a helmet when bicycling.
  • I will wear my seat belt every time I get in a car. I’ll sit in the back seat and use a booster seat until I am tall enough to use a lap/shoulder seat belt.
  • I’ll be nice to other kids. I’ll be friendly to kids who need friends – like someone who is shy, or is new to my school.
  •  I’ll never give out personal information such as my name, home address, school name or telephone number on the Internet. Also, I’ll never send a picture of myself to someone I chat with on the computer without my parent’s permission.

Kids, 13-years-old and up

  • I will try to eat two servings of fruit and two servings of vegetables every day, and I will drink sodas only on special occasions.
  • I will take care of my body through physical activity and nutrition.
  • I will choose non-violent television shows and video games, and I will spend only one to two hours each day – at the most – on these activities.
  • I will help out in my community – through volunteering, working with community groups or by joining a group that helps people in need.
  • When I feel angry or stressed out, I will take a break and find constructive ways to deal with the stress, such as exercising, reading, writing in a journal or discussing my problem with a parent or friend.
  •  When faced with a difficult decision, I will talk about my choices with an adult whom I can trust.
  •  When I notice my friends are struggling or engaging in risky behaviors, I will talk with a trusted adult and attempt to find a way that I can help them.
  •  I will be careful about whom I choose to date, and always treat the other person with respect and without coercion or violence. I will expect the same good behavior in return.
  •  I will resist peer pressure to try tobacco, drugs or alcohol.
  •  I agree not to use a cellphone or text message while driving and to always use a seat belt.

Personally, I like to set a few goals when January first rolls around because it’s an easy benchmark but I never actually call them resolutions. Whatever you call them, Dr. Benjamin Siegel, professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine, suggests making goal setting a family affair. Instead of setting personal goals – or in addition to setting personal goals – sit down together and make a resolution for the entire family. This could be something like pledging to go hiking together once a month or eating dinner as a family at least three nights a week.

Just make sure your and your kids’ resolutions are achievable and healthy. Instead of weight loss, aim to conquer the couch to 5k challenge. Aim to read one book a month or learn a new recipe every other week. And then keep each other accountable. Don’t set up consequences for failure – in fact, learning to fall off the wagon and then get back on again is a very important thing to learn! Make setting and working towards resolutions a learning experience instead of a stressful one and the whole family will benefit!

5 Ways Breastfeeding Is NOT Easier

I am totally pro breastfeeding. For the record, I do actually think it’s easier than bottle feeding when what you compare it to is the hassle of having to wash nipples and remember formula and fetch bottles at midnight for a full-term infant who is growing like a weed.

But yesterday I made the mistake of clicking a link that led to a breastfeeding advocacy forum and there I saw a picture of a form filled out by a new mom. Long story short, she wasn’t sure if she would breastfeed or for how long because she wanted to share some of the responsibility for feeding, though she did say she was interested in nursing and that her family would be supportive. Now the forum members did not, as you might assume, express their hopes that she would find the information she needed to make an informed choice.

Nope. What many did was say things like “People like her shouldn’t breed.” and “It IS her responsibility – moms are so selfish nowadays.” and “She’s crazy! Breastfeeding is so much easier!” and “Why aren’t you pumping OMG?”

Aside from the fact that these supposed advocates were not advocating, but judging – and harshly, at that – they were also ignoring something really important. Which is that they don’t know the mom who filled out the form. They had no idea if she would have to go back to work in six short weeks at a job that had no pumping support – or even if she could reasonably afford the upfront expense of a breast pump. None of them knew if her baby was a roly-poly termie who sucks like a hoover or a 33 week preemie with a weak latch and jaw issues. Whether this mom was taking a medication that isn’t compatible with breastfeeding and still considering whether it’s worth the risk of stopping for some period of time.

Here’s what they thought they knew: This mom must be selfish (because she wanted someone else to feed the baby now and then) and lazy (because she is worried that breastfeeding might be difficult) and stupid (because she hinted that bottle feeding might be easier). Putting aside for the fact that these supposed advocates were anything but and probably have caused more new moms NOT to breastfeed because they are just plain mean, let’s take a look at that last point.

Is breastfeeding easier? Sure, in a lot of ways. No washing bottles or worrying about the quality of the water or spending eleventy billion dollars on formula. But here are five ways that breastfeeding is definitely not easier.

1. A breastfeeding mom has sole responsibility for feeding the baby, day and night. For many moms, myself included, that means that the longest she can take a breather is an hour or two. The mister is wonderful about getting up with me more often than not, but I do plenty of solo overnight feeds there in the dark alone with nothing but my thoughts. If Bo was a needier baby, I might go crazy.

2. Yes, help with feedings is available if a mom wants to hook herself up to a breast pump. Provided she is the kind of mom who can pump enough to make a bottle or two with a consumer grade pump. Many can’t.

3. Leakage. I’m lucky in that I have only once ever had milk come out when there wasn’t a baby attached to my breast, but I know plenty of people who lactate like faucets – soaking through pad after pad until finally soaking through both bra and shirt. For SAHMs or moms still on maternity leave, this isn’t an issue, but if you’re a working mom in an office working with anyone who is not also a mom… I wouldn’t call dealing with that ‘easy’.

4. Breastfeeding is not easier when you have a preemie or a baby with a facial abnormality or conditions like Down syndrome or severe allergies. I shed too many tears when P. was a baby because I felt guilty that breastfeeding wasn’t just oh so easy like all those supposed advocates were saying it ought to be. For us, breastfeeding was really, really hard and something we worked at for MONTHS.

5. And finally, breastfeeding is not easier when you’re sporting a couple of cantaloupes. Or watermelons. I will be forever envious of my small-bosomed friends who can put a baby to breast with total modesty, hardly adjusting their clothing. These are the kinds of moms who can nurse in a restaurant without having to erect a tent out of spare scarves and sweaters. The kinds of moms who don’t have to use one hand to hold their breasts because even a strong latch isn’t sufficient to keep that sucker in a newborn’s mouth. Because when I’m breastfeeding, the world knows it. Luckily, the world has been kind enough to politely avert its eyes thus far.

Can you think of other ways breastfeeding is definitely NOT easier than bottle feeding? What did I miss?

How to Have a No-Stress Christmas

Merry Christmas from Mom Meet Mom!

…or not. Maybe you’re like me, and Christmas is not your best season. I don’t know about you, but I get a little overwhelmed. Too much family closeness, too much shopping, too many weird expectations from friends and neighbors, too many event invitations that interfere with already tenuous sleep schedules.

But it’s okay! You aren’t a freak if you don’t find yourself brimming with holiday cheer! Here are some quick tips that (hopefully) will help you navigate holiday stress today and on future holidays:

  • Know your limits – And your kids’ limits, too! if you know the office party will be too much for you, don’t go! Do you have a little one who hates the car seat (like mine)? Don’t agree to drive to see both sets of grandparents on Christmas day! It’s okay to turn down invitations that conflict with naps. It’s okay to say no!
  • Don’t shop – If you are dealing with financial issues, or if the stores are overwhelming, or if you just don’t want to buy into consumer culture, remember you don’t have to! Start a family tradition of serving others on Christmas, or try homemade gifts or gifts of your services (for example, my sister is teaching me how to sew a circle skirt for my Christmas gift this year). Hit up Freecycle or your local Buy Nothing group for gifts (and get rid of your own clutter to boot). I snagged a sweet set of Lincoln Logs for my log-obsessed daughter’s Christmas present this year just by asking our Buy Nothing Kirkland group if anyone had any they no longer needed.
  • Do it your way – My husband’s family has always been strapped for cash, which made holidays tricky. Their solution? Have Christmas in January – that way they could save money on presents by shopping the post-holiday closeout sales. The lesson? Every tradition was once a new idea; why not make your own?
How will you avoid stress this Christmas?

 

Celebrating New Year’s Eve with Kids

Once upon a time, celebrating New Year’s Eve might have meant tying one on and waking up with a lampshade on your head but now you want to do up New Year’s family style. Awesome. When I was little I always thought it was a little unfair that kids were left out of all the New Year’s hubbub, didn’t you? We’re lucky because our town has a family-friendly First Night celebration every year. And when our daughter was little, she was the kind of baby who’d fall asleep anywhere so we actually did get to enjoy one post-parenting New Year’s Even among friends. Not that it got crazy but still, we were out!

This year, that former baby is now four (and three-quarters, she’ll tell you) and her brother is a party baby who absolutely will not sleep if there’s any kind of action happening in his general vicinity so we’ll be celebrating the arrival of the new year as a family. I’ve been looking into how to make it a fun and meaningful day for everyone, not just the grownups, and here are some of the ideas I’ve encountered

Ring in the Noon Year

As interesting s staying up until midnight sounds to most kids, most kids are not cut out of staying awake for the long haul. Make 12 p.m. on December 31 your New Year’s Eve countdown target and do it up right with sparkling cider or club soda with juice in fancy glasses, noisemakers (pots and wooden spoons will do in a pinch), and a special treat like cake or cupcakes.

Make It a Party

Go to Party City and grab all the glittery New Year’s Eve swag you can find, and decorate your house in full-on party style. Kids – especially little ones – often don’t grasp the significance of the coming of a new year or they’re just plain overwhelmed with a holiday that pales in comparison to Christmas. The more festive you make New Year’s Eve, the more fun it will be.

Turn It into a Special Event

If you’re having a party that’s all-ages, why not have pity on your fellow parents and make it a big to-do? Your mom friends are probably wondering what they can do that day that’s family-friendly and fun for everyone. Your kids get to spend time celebrating with friends and you get some much needed grownup fun. Just make sure to keep an eye on the tweens and teens if you’re serving alcohol. I have fond memories of “taste testing” drinks when I was 14.

Get the Kids Crafting

Alternately, have the kids make all the decorations and then some. Countdown cards are a fun way to ring in the new year (or the new afternoon) and who doesn’t love DIYs that involve craft paper and glitter glue? Make cards with 10 through 1 on them and hold up the cards as you count down. This is a great way to work some number recognition into the big day.

Let Older Kids Host a Sleepover

You’ll be doing parents a favor by giving them a chance to ring in the new year in grownup style, and if you suspect your kids would have had trouble going to bed before midnight… well, you know how much sleeping is done at sleepovers anyway. Why not make an event of your kids’ attempts to stay up all night?

Share Your Hopes and Dreams as a Family

You can make New Year’s Resolutions with kids but not every family wants to attach goal setting to an arbitrary date. Instead of making resolutions, why not sit around the living room – in front of the fireplace if you have one – and share what you hope to achieve or would like to see happen in the coming year? It can be very interesting to see what your little ones are thinking about changing or accomplishing!

Watch Last Year’s Home Movies

New Year’s Eve is a great time to reminisce about how far you’ve come as a family, and kids usually love watching themselves on the TV or laptop screen. Talk about how different you all are after just a single year – even the grownups who may look the same have undergone transformations. What were your favorite moments? What challenges did you face?

Make a Homemade Balloon Drop

Who says that Times Square is where it’s at? A balloon drop right in your own living room can help you ring in the new year in a big way. All it takes is a big trash bag filled with balloons hung upside down from the ceiling. Tie it with a slipknot instead of the usual twisty tie. At midnight (or noon) let the balloons shower down on your little ones. They’ll love it!

Create a Family Time Capsule

Gather family photos and fun keepsakes that represent the year your family has had and place them in a homemade or store-bought time capsule. An old mason jar with a tight-fitting lid works great if you’d rather not have to hunt down and buy a pre-made capsule. Make a ceremony about stashing the filled capsule somewhere in your home or burying it in the yard, and then pledge to open it in a year, 10 years, or even longer. Knowing your family time capsule is there can make each new year’s passing more exciting.

We at Mom Meet Mom hope you have a wonderful new year! What do you have planned for New Year’s Eve?

Holiday Traditions That Will Make Christmas Morning Extra Special

Christmas magic is about more than just gifts – it’s about togetherness and tradition, good food and the warmth of giving. But we moms know that magic doesn’t just create itself! Presentation matters, as does mood. That doesn’t mean you should give yourself loads of extra work in the days leading up to Christmas or wake up at 5 a.m. on Christmas morning to make everything perfect. But should you find you have the opportunity, why not take the time to create some new holiday traditions for your family to enjoy on December 25? Here are just a few ideas to help you do just that!

Prep the Area Before Opening Presents

Though I get that it might not be possible depending on the enthusiasm level of your kids, try to grab a few seconds before your kids bum rush the tree to turn on the lights, put on some jolly Christmas music, and arrange the presents prettily if they’ve been knocked around. Have a model train going around the tree? Start it running around its track, too. You’ll put everyone in a festive mood and *bonus* your Christmas morning pics will look amazing!

Have a Special Christmas Morning Breakfast

Listen, I’m not suggesting that you get up at the crack of dawn to start making custom omelets or homemade cinnamon rolls. There are plenty of crockpot breakfast casseroles that are amazing and dishes that are even better when prepped ahead of time, like baked stuffed French toast and sausage breakfast bake. Quiche is another good option – just sub out breakfast sausage for the usual meat. Heck, even cinnamon rolls can be made ahead and warmed up! Simple.

Let Them Wake to Stockings

I mentioned in another post that back in the day, my brothers and sisters and I would wake up to our stockings hanging on our doorknobs. We got to ransack them first thing and our parents got a few extra minutes of shut-eye. Having something to open right away may buy you some precious time in the prep department since your kids won’t be champing at the bit for the prezzies under the tree.

Plan Christmas Day Fun

After your special Christmas morning breakfast has been eaten and the presents have all been unwrapped, Christmas day can start to feel like a let-down if nothing else is planned. Give your kids something to do, like assemble and decorate a gingerbread house or decorate Christmas cookies. When the weather is nice, a walk around the neighborhood can give the whole family a chance to take another look at the decorations before they’re taken down in a few days or weeks.

Sip Christmas Cocktails (Responsibly)

For the grownups, have something special on hand to make coffee and cocoa an adult treat. Think peppermint schnapps, Kahlua, whisky, rum, Amaretto or Frangelico. Here’s an even better idea: Invite neighbors over to share!

If It’s Still Dark, Roll with It

As frustrating as it is to have two kids wide awake at 4 a.m. because they’re pretty sure they heard Santa and just want to check pleeeaaaaaase Christmas lights, carols, and a steaming mug of hot chocolate can be that much more magical before the sun is up. And just think! You’re upping your chances that the little ones will be in bed early, at which time you can enjoy your spiked hot chocolate in peace.

Plan a Visit from Santa

When enough adults are around, little kids aren’t likely to connect the disappearance of one with the sudden appearance of Santa. Make renting a costume for a visit from Santa a yearly affair – even after the little ones aren’t so little anymore. Alternately, a grownup outside with a leather strap of real jingle bells can give the illusion of a Santa visit. When the kids hear the sound of Santa’s sleigh, run them outside to see if they can catch a glimpse of the big man himself!

Go Light Peeping

Once the sun sets, bundle everyone into the car for a drive around town to look at the best Christmas decorations in town. Make sure to ask around before Christmas day to find out where the truly epic displays are.

Remember that even if you feel a little let down by Christmas because growing into adulthood has faded the magic somewhat, your children are seeing the holidays through fresh eyes and hearts. Try to see and experience what they are and I bet you’ll find that your spirit is suddenly truly merry and bright!

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A Little Shutterfly Giveaway for Right Now (with Big Ones Coming Soon!)

Have you heard? We’re giving away a $50 Shutterfly gift card! And to do that, we’ve decided to create a little game to make the Mom Meet Mom experience fun for all of the mamas who are just as passionate as we are about helping moms connect! And the gift card? Is just the beginning.

The only catch… this and future giveaways in the same series will be just for what I want to call our Mom Meet Mom Referrer Squad.

The Referrer Squad is made up of mamas who take Mom Meet Mom seriously, sharing it with their friends, neighbors, daycare providers, pediatricians and, yes, the moms they meet at playground. To reward them, we put together a referral system that tracks how many new moms each of our users can sign up. You (and all our other members) have a unique referral code that people in your social circle can use to sign up for Mom Meet Mom – when they do, you’re automatically entered into each month’s giveaway!

Here’s what you do:

  • First, you have to be a current Mom Meet Mom member. If you’re not, that’s easy – just go to Mommeetmom.com and sign up for a free account!
  • Next, go to your referral page at Mommeetmom.com/referral (make sure you’re logged in). You’ll see your code and the option to share it on Twitter and Facebook.

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  • Finally, share your referral code everywhere and with everyone! Each new mama you recruit earns you another entry in each monthly giveaway so it pays to share.

(That part is going to be especially important when we get to our grand prize giveaway – trust me, you WON’T want to miss being a part of that drawing!)

Like I said, the kickoff giveaway prize is a $50 gift card redeemable at Shutterfly. We’ll draw and alert the winner on January 15th, so there’s still plenty of time to rack up those referrals. The best part? You don’t have start fresh each month. If you refer 10 moms in December and 10 moms in January, you’ll start off in February with 20 entries in that month’s giveaway. Sweet, right?

But actually the best part is probably that by introducing Mom Meet Mom to other mamas in your life, you’ll be helping make the site bigger, better, and a resource that every mom can use to find her new best friend. You can’t beat that!

Your Body Did What? 6 Things No One Tells You About Childbirth

Just when we think those childbirth classes prepared us for everything there is to know about labor and delivery, good ol’ Mother Nature sweeps in and tells us what’s up. The following is a list of commonly reported natural responses to childbirth. If you haven’t had a baby yet, chances are, you’ll be surprised by at least a few of these…

1. Uncontrollable Chills

I can remember when my water broke with my first child.. I instantaneously started shivering and couldn’t stop. My husband assumed I was nervous but that wasn’t. It was actually pretty scary until I spoke with my doctor on the phone. She said it was a completely natural unexplained reaction that about 50% of laboring moms report. Who knew?

2. Throwing Up

Be prepared to toss your cookies. Many mothers throw up during labor for a few different reasons. Did you know that digestion usually stops during labor? Many moms react to the food sitting in their stomachs by throwing it up. For others, throwing up is a natural reflex to labor pains. And for those of us that opt for the epidural… yep, nausea is a commonly reported side effect.

3. Contractions after the baby is born… but I thought we were done?

Don’t be shocked when you are snuggling up to your new bundle of joy and all of a sudden you start feeling contractions again. After your body finishes laboring, it reverses its agenda and begins to pull everything back to where it should be. Post labor contractions feel more like menstrual cramping and they will likely become more pronounced while breastfeeding because breastfeeding triggers this response.

4. Sheet-Soaking Night Sweats.

At some point after giving birth, there is a very good chance you will wake up soaking wet from night sweats. Again, this is a natural process that your body will go through to balance your hormones while expelling toxins and extra fluid that was necessary during your pregnancy. For some mothers the night sweats last days, for others weeks and even months.

5. The Smell of Your Baby Helps You Heal.

Did you know that a baby will respond to a mother based on smell alone? And mothers can recognize their babies likewise. This is just another biological phenomenon that helps us to bond faster with our newborns. The baby smell triggers a release of Oxycontin in your body, which sends positive cues to your mind, while telling your body to keep healing itself. Because of this and because the warmth of your body calms the baby, you will likely be advised to practice skin-to-skin snuggling for a few weeks following childbirth.

6. We Forget.

Black out! If you ask most mothers about childbirth, they may be able to rattle off a few facts about their experience, but they’ll likely admit that much of it was a fog. This is good ol’ Mother Nature’s way of making us forget the tough parts, so yes, we’ll get amped up to do it all over again.

9 Easy Christmas Crafts Kids Can Make Themselves

Are you a little sick of seeing Christmas craft ideas that are supposedly for kids but are obviously made by moms behind the scene? Yeah, me, too. If I can’t actually sit down with my 4-year-old and watch her do most of the work, I’m not interested. That’s why I put together a list of Christmas crafts for kids from around the web that are just perfect for keeping little ones busy while you’re making the Christmas cookies – or hiding from your in-laws in the closet and drinking the Christmas wine.

Have fun!

Older kids can glue and paint the popsicle sticks themselves, while little kids will need your help putting the trees together but will have plenty of fun decorating their own tiny Christmas trees. Directions here.

All you need are some unbreakable ball ornaments, a little non-toxic paint, and time, and you’ll have some sweet, meaningful Christmas ornaments that your little ones can give to friends and family as gifts. Directions here.

How cute are these little foam Christmas ornaments? If you use self-adhesive stars and decorations, even really little kids and toddlers can make their own. Try it with felt, too. Directions here.

You toss enough toilet paper roll tubes into the recycling bin (which is great) but why not use them for something more fun? There are so many decorations and ornaments that start with a simple cardboard tube, and most are easy enough for tiny hands to do solo. Directions here.

Grab another set of unbreakable ball ornaments and get the paint because there’s another adorable Christmas craft idea that makes a great gift for grandparents. Directions here.

For kids who love to glue, break out this Christmas craft idea for a rainy (or snowy) day! This is a great one for mamas who have a stash of buttons laying around. Instead of green, try different coordinating colors. Directions here.

We have one of these hanging on our tree and love it! This is a great Christmas craft for kids who are just learning to use scissors and trace. Directions here.

Or try this variation of the button Christmas tree that starts with a felt “tree” and requires nothing more than buttons and craft paste. You can also use glitter, gems, and other craft embellishments. Directions here.

Finally, how adorable is this snowman craft? We love it because our daughter is just nutso for cotton balls and glue sticks! Directions here.

What are your favorite Christmas crafts for kids?

Are You Keeping Your Family Safe This Holiday Season?

It’s that time of year again and while we are all in go, go, go mode, it’s critical that we pause and make sure we are prepared for potential holiday dangers. Below are some holiday safety tips that will help to keep you and your family safe during the holiday season.

When You’re Shopping With Children

  1. Before you go holiday shopping, prepare your child to “Find the Nearest Mommy” or store clerk (at a counter) to ask for help if they get separated from you. The odds of another mother with children being a predator are far lower than say a man alone (not that we think single men are predators, of course). Other moms are also more likely to stop everything they are doing until your child is safe. A store clerk working behind a counter is another safe option but make sure they are behind a counter (because any predator can pose as a worker).

  2. Teach children to stay close to you at all times while holiday shopping – if your child is a wanderer, you might consider a child safety leash until they outgrow this stage. Tip: The backpack style leashes are cute and some kids like them better.

  3. Teach your children their full name, address, and telephone number to give to police officers or mall security. If they’re too little to learn them all, consider keeping them home while you shop or using an ID bracelet.

  4. Teach children to immediately inform you or scream if a stranger is bothering them.

  5. Learn about Code Adam – a security lock-down protocol that has been implemented by most major retailers. You don’t want to wait too long if your child goes missing to let someone in the store know. The store lock-down is pretty impressive – I’ve experienced it first-hand.

When You’re Not Home and When You Are 

The weeks before and after the holidays are by far the hottest for break-ins and let’s face it, we don’t ever picture this happening to us until it actually does. You have a family and a home to protect – make sure you do your best to prevent the worst case scenario both when you are home and when you’re away.

  1. If you have an alarm, make sure you test it before you go away for the holidays.

  2. If you don’t have an alarm, consider buying the fake stickers online that make it look like you do have an alarm.

  3. They also sell alarm lawn signs as well as “beware of dog” signs online. It might be worth putting these out for the holidays. And ask a friend to check in on your house or at least do a drive by.

  4. When you are away, leave at least one light on in your house.

  5. It is also a good idea to leave music or the TV on. Even if thieves know you are not home, they might take this as a hint that you won’t be gone for long.

  6. When you go to bed at night, leave some music on downstairs and a light or two on. Consider installing a sensor light outside or leave the outside light on to play it safe. Just because you’re home, doesn’t mean you’re not a target.

When You’re In or Near The Car

This is also the hottest season for car break-ins and muggings. As busy mothers, we are huge targets for predators because we are often preoccupied with our children and busy to-do lists that we sometimes get caught with our heads down.

  1. When you are out doing your holiday shopping, make sure to hide bags and gifts in the trunk or put a blanket over them in the back seat if you can’t fit them.

  2. Before you leave the store to go out to your car, take the keys out of your purse. You don’t want to have any lag time at the car digging through your diaper bag looking for your keys. This gives predators more time to approach.

  3. Always park in well-lit areas and plan ahead if you park in the evening before it get’s dark.

  4. If you finish holiday shopping when it’s late, ask a store manager, mall security or any worker to escort you to your car. Listen to your gut if things don’t feel right and don’t try to be a hero.

  5. Lock the car doors immediately once you get in the car.

  6. Never, never, never roll down the window or open the door if someone approaches your vehicle. Instead, beep your horn loudly while driving away.

I hope these holiday safety tips help to keep you and your family safe. Do you take additional precautions that are not listed above? If so, please share!!! I’d love to be able to add to this list!